WILDLIFE

Auto/deer collisions rise in November, a reminder to drive carefully

Nov 8, 2023, 2:19 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm

A buck deer crosses in front of a truck in Oak City in November 2022....

FILE: A buck deer crosses in front of a truck in Oak City in November 2022. Utah wildlife officials are reminding drivers that collisions between cars and deer increase in November. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the time of the year when deer are on the move and when drivers need to pay extra attention. Utah wildlife officials say that the state records more deer collisions in November than any other month. 

There are a couple of reasons for the increase. Faith Heaton Jolley, spokesperson for the Division of Wildlife Resources, told KSL NewsRadio they include mating and the annual deer migration. 

“We got more animals crossing the roads during this time of year. And then more male deer are moving around looking for mates,” she said. 

Daylight saving plays a role, too. “It’s darker,” Jolley said. “It’s a lot harder to see some of these animals when they’re by the road or crossing the road.”

Best practices to avoid deer collisions

To avoid hitting deer, especially this month, Jolley says to stay alert and limit distractions. 

“Being aware this is a high traffic time for deer to migrate so that you’re looking for them on the roadway … that’s kinda the first big step,” Jolley said.

“Really pay attention to both sides of the road as you drive. You know, don’t drive distracted … put away your food, phone, anything like that.” 

The next step is to pay attention to wildlife crossing signs. They’re not placed randomly. Crossing signs are put up in areas known to have a high volume of wildlife-vehicle collisions. 

Lastly, look out for an animal’s eyeshine. Jolley says their eyes will reflect light from your vehicle. 

Example of eye shine in deer.

(Wild About Utah)

Most importantly, if you are in a deer collision pull off the road and report it immediately. 

To report a collision you can use the UDOT Utah Roadkill Reporter app

Related reading: New deer crossing tech will alert drivers when wildlife is nearby

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Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Auto/deer collisions rise in November, a reminder to drive carefully